Ai Miyazato Closes Fast In Arkansas
ROGERS, ARKANSAS | It was a self-fulfilling
prophecy of sorts for Japan’s Ai Miyazato, who
sizzled her way to a closing 65 Sunday at
Pinnacle Country Club to edge her countrywoman, Mika Miyazato, and Spain’s Azahara
Munoz, and win the Walmart NW Arkansas
Championship Presented by P&G.
Looking to notch her second LPGA Tour victory
of the season, Ai Miyazato was asked late Saturday what she needed for the final round. She
knew she would have to stay aggressive on Sunday if she wanted to record her ninth career win.
“Just try and stay prepared out there,” said
Miyazato. “I think I still need also birdies to-morrow, so just maybe a little bit more aggressive and we’ll see what’s going to happen.”
What happened was seven birdies and a
12-under, 54-hole total of 201 that was one
better than runners-up Mika Miyazato (no
relation) and Munoz. And it wasn’t without an
element of surprise. Just last week the win-
ning Ai Miyazato had missed the cut
at the Manulife Financial LPGA
closed with a
1-over 72 to
tie for fourth
Sunday 65 tied Ai
low round of
Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng shot a
3-over 74 on Saturday to finish at 5-over par
and miss her first cut since the 2011 Avnet
LPGA Classic. It ended a stretch of 26 events
without a missed cut for the two-time defending champion. American Morgan Pressel withdrew during the second round due to a thumb
injury and Se Ri Pak withdrew after the first
round of play.
Pak won the U.S. Women’s Open 14 years
ago at Blackwolf Run, where that event returns
this week. Tseng’s recent reversal in form,
meanwhile, remains a bit of a puzzle. Also
missing the cut in Arkansas were Americans
Cristie Kerr and the struggling Michelle Wie.
Ai Miyazato had made a five-foot birdie putt
on No. 18 to reach 12 under for the tournament,
and the win was secured when when Mika
Miyazato missed a 15-foot birdie attempt on the
same hole minutes later.
Ai Miyazato also won the LOTTE Championship in Hawaii in April. She’s the third player
on the LPGA Tour to win multiple events this
season, joining top-ranked Tseng, also a three-time winner, and No. 2 Stacy Lewis.
Meanwhile, the two Miyazatos visited briefly
“She said, ‘I’m very happy for you,’ but
then at the same time she was crying,” said Ai
Miyazato. “So, I was like, I didn’t know what to
say to her, but I just said thank you and great
playing. You know, she’s still young and she still
has great future and I know her win is coming
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